On Polygamy (and Polyandry, for that matter)

I’ve been following the furor around Warren Jeffs for a while now, seeing as he’s been talked about in the press before (I don’t feel like finding links about him right now; c’mon, what are tabbed browsing and Google FOR, anyway?).  I must say, it hasn’t been until his arrest that they’ve made it clear that what they wanted him on was trafficking in underaged girls, and not on polygamy charges.

Now, I have nothing against the LDS (Mormons), I have nothing against the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints; this is the key distinction here).  My issue comes when you start press-ganging underaged girls into becoming baby factories for your religion.  THAT is WRONG.  THAT is what Warren Jeffs was doing, and why he should and will go to jail.  The issue here is not polygamy, it is statuatory rape, the Mann Act, and all sorts of icky procurement charges, seeing that it is his role as ‘prophet’ of the sect to arrange the marriages, and thereby place said underaged girls into the hands of grown men.
It was the view of the early Mormons that in order to achieve Heavenly Salvation ™, a man had to have at least three wives.  This stricture was dropped in 1860 in order for Utah to become part of the USA.  A certain segment of the congregation believed that this was a copout, and formed the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, which still allows for polygamy, even though the practice has been illegal since the early part of the last century.

Okay, big deal.  If a man wants to have five wives, I say let him.  I also think, however, that a woman should be allowed to have five husbands, if she wants them.  (That’s called ‘Polyandry’, kids).  I see no reason, religious or otherwise, why the girls can’t do as the boys do.  Is it not possible to love more than one person at a time?  Is this not what most of our literature and television drama is based on?  Polygamy, polyandry, and even group marriages are perfectly reasonable living arrangements to me, the human tendency to not share notwithstanding.
The arrest of Warren Jeffs will not be the end of the FLDS; they already have successors getting ready to take his place as ‘prophet’.  No, what will be the end of them is something a little less religious and a lot more typically human: the steadfast refusal to listen to reason where it contradicts one’s beliefs.


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